Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) law sets out the process for developing and enforcing accessibility standards designed by industry representatives and people with disabilities. It’s the first accessibility legislation and standards in Ontario.

In 2021, the AODA will require Canadian businesses with 50 or more employees to file a compliance report and ensure that all internet websites and web content are accessible to people with disabilities.

AODA has two key effective dates, separated by one day:

  • December 31, 2020: A business or non-profit organization with 20 or more employees in Ontario must file an Accessibility Compliance Report that confirms they have met current accessibility requirements under AODA. Read more information about filing a compliance report.

  • January 1, 2021: Businesses and nonprofits with 50 or more employees, public sector organizations with 20-plus employees, and all public sector publishers, educational institutions, and municipalities in Ontario must make website and web content accessible.

To be considered accessible, organizations must conform with WCAG 2.1 Level AA. To meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA conformance, the website is usable and understandable for the majority of people with or without disabilities. Some notable WCAG 2.1 Level AA requirements include:

  • Color contrast is, in most instances, at least 4.5:1
  • Alt text or a similar solution is used for images that convey meaning
  • Navigation elements are consistent throughout the site
  • Form fields have accurate labels
  • Status updates can be conveyed through a screen reader
  • Headings are used in logical order

If organizations in Canada aren’t accessible by the deadline, they can be fined up to $50,000 (CND) per day.

To be considered accessible under the AODA, organizations must conform with WCAG 2.1 Level AA.

Learn more about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

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